Everything seems brighter this week. I’m not sure if it’s the lovely weather, or because I’m actually beginning to catch up with things, or what, but it’s good, anyway.

So, last week. Monday was the usual prep day – lots of prep, because I was behind from the week before. In the evening was TADS’ AGM, plus our usual monthly meeting. It was quite a bland AGM really; nothing much to report on. I haven’t written the minutes yet; that’s scheduled for today.

On Tuesday I was in the Oxford school. This was probably the best day I’ve had with them. We were writing about mountains and tectonic plates, and both groups came up with a really good concrete poem in the shape of a mountain. Even the difficult ones were engaged, or at least not being disruptive. The afternoon was hard because three of us were working on different things in the same classroom, and it was very, very noisy, but still, a good day.

In the evening I went to see The Lincoln Lawyer with The Bloke. It wasn’t as good as the book, but still enjoyable.

Wednesday I was at home again in the morning. I did the writeup for the school, prepared for my doctor’s surgery group and the group I was running in the afternoon, and for the kids’ group on the Saturday, planned what poems I’ll use in my gig on 2nd April, and cleared a bit more of my drive ready for some gravel.

In the afternoon I had a return visit to the group I worked with at the GP surgery in Ross – I can work with them for four more sessions. It was great to see them all again, but the best thing is that they have carried on meeting on their own, which is amazing. It takes real enthusiasm and persistence for a group to do this.

When I came home I had a bonfire and got rid of lots of old dead stuff from the garden. I noticed that a beautiful, huge Rose of Sharon bush in my garden is dead, or very nearly. Digging this up is going to be very hard work, and then I’ve got to decide what to replace it with. I’ve always fancied some pampas grass (yes, I know it’s looked down on by the gardening establishment, but I don’t care), or perhaps a flowering cherry. Or just grass. But it will have to wait until I’m less busy, anyway. I finished off the day with the adjudication of the play I saw the previous week and some prison work.

Thursday was the prison – an excellent session with my group. I asked them to improvise the ending for their play, and they were brilliant; even the quieter ones really got into it. Not only that, but I managed to arrange a date and a venue for our production and got it all cleared with security – all in one day! Usually these things take ages in the prison.

I went for a run on Friday morning but it wasn’t very good. My cold has left me with a terrible cough and I just spluttered all the way. I answered a lot of mail that has been piling up, and went to the hospital. This had its usual cheering effect on me; so many wonderful people, although the two I worked with were (quite rightly) a bit grumpy. In the afternoon I had the last session this term with my GP surgery group, who continue to astound me. I have to put all their pieces in a book, now. I won’t be able to get everything in, but deciding what to leave out is going to be very difficult.

And finally on Friday evening I had to go to a play in Stroud for an adjudication. It was very professionally done.

And still work hadn’t finished! On Saturday I was working with a  group of children in Hereford. There weren’t as many as we had hoped for, but those who came thoroughly enjoyed it – well, most of them did – and it was fun.

At last, on Sunday, some time off. The Bloke and I went to the Cotswold Wildlife Park. It was probably the perfect day for a visit there – warm but not hot, and not packed out with people. I wanted to bring the red pandas home. It’s almost impossible, I think, for people to look at animals and not anthropomorphise. There was one pair of animals (I’ve forgotten what they were called) who were lying quietly in the sunshine; one had its arm protectively (there we go!) over the other, and they looked for all the world like a happy, loving couple. Aaah!

Today I have far more to do than I can possible manage, but it’s looking pretty springlike out there and I still feel a bit springy, so I’ll just leap in. Here goes!

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